5 Essential Foodie Experiences in Naples
Let these five essential experiences guide your culinary exploration.
From the freshest seafood to the finest farm-to-table dining, Naples, Florida, promises delicious experiences for culinary-minded travelers. Ambiance is essential to the experience, whether you’re dining waterfront or popping into a restaurant or outdoor cafe along 5th Avenue or 3rd Street in Naples’ historic downtown.
1. Standout Seafood
Naples’ postcard-pretty shoreline is dotted with establishments serving outstanding seafood. Head to Pincher’s Crab Shack for specialties such as wahoo, triple tail, pompano, grouper and snapper. The restaurant is a sponsor of Naples’ annual Stone Crab Festival, an October celebration that showcases the delicacy. Want to cook your catch? The historic Crayton Cove area around Naples City Dock has a Cook Your Catch agreement among fishing charters and three restaurants within walking distance of the dock. Many restaurants offer waterfront dining as well, including The Dock at Crayton Cove, M Waterfront Grille and Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar.
Annually in October, Naples' Stone Crab Festival celebrates the prized catch from the waters surrounding the city.
2. Farm-to-Table Sophistication
Certified-organic Collier Family Farms grows produce for one of Naples’ lauded chefs, Vincenzo Betulia. The farm is currently growing heirloom tomatoes in many sizes and colors, as well as eggplant, for Betulia’s restaurants, Osteria Tulia and the new late-night gastropub, Bar Tulia.
3. Vegetarian Dining
Vegetarians and vegans, rejoice! Naples offers delectable choices for you. Check out the all-vegan Loving Hut, with a wide range of Asian-inspired dishes. Or try The Local, which serves meat but also offers a range of fresh and local vegetarian and vegan dishes. Try the flatbread piled with locally grown vegetables.
4. Unique Ambiance
From Naples’ historic downtown to its waterfront, unique settings are an essential element of dining here. But you can also dine surrounded by the lush beauty of Naples Botanic Garden — the new Fogg Café features creative menu items made with local, sustainable and seasonal products (some from the Garden itself!). For a jazzy soundtrack to your meal, get to Alto Live Jazz Kitchen. Here, Chef Charles Mereday presents classic supper club fare — and regular performances by jazz groups. (His other restaurant, Mereday’s Fine Dining, treats diners to waterfront views.)
Waterfront dining is essential to savoring time in Naples.
5. Naples Craft Beer Fest
Beer connoisseurs attend the annual Naples Craft Beer Fest to sample dozens of varieties from nationwide brewers, as well as bites from a wide range of restaurants. The food samplings are paired to match the beers, and chefs compete to win the People’s Choice Award for best pairing.